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Where to live in London as a young professional

London is a global city, known worldwide as one the great cities to visit, and often regarded as ‘the’ place to live, at least for several years of anyone’s life.

Source: Flickr | Anna Stroumpou

It’s a massive city, a huge urban sprawl, made up of hundreds of individual settlements that have become interconnected as each settlement has grown. The result is a vast, diverse city with almost every culture from around the planet having a community here.

For a young professional, London is a great city to live in, the only decision to make, is where to live. Below is a guide to 10 neighbourhoods across London; no one neighbourhood is the same, each has its own quirks, personality, and charm.

North London

Islington

Located in the N1 postcode of London, Islington is close to central London and extremely busy! It’s an area, which, although mostly residential, has a lot of entertainment. There’s tons of local history, museums and galleries to see by day and stacks of pubs, bars and restaurants to enjoy by night.

Source: Flickr | clkao

This is an area, which is literally as fun as central London and should be a serious consideration for anyone considering living in the center of the capital. The population is diverse, bubbly and hardworking giving a real community sense to living; Islington is an area of London that you can jump straight into and feel at home!

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Camden

Camden is an area a few miles north of the center of London, and most well known for its lively cultural center, Camden Town. The area holds famous street markets, pulling in visitors from all across the world. The area itself is alive with up and coming artists and musicians hoping to further their careers, catapulted through Camden’s reputation for promoting talent.

Source: Flickr | Mario Sánchez Prada

Food and drink are very popular here, with a real focus on the alternative and ethnic cuisines reflective of the incredibly diverse and multicultural population living within the area. Whilst close to central London, Camden has everything contained within, from buzzing street markets, lively pubs, beautiful restaurants and everything in-between.

South London

Wimbledon

When people think of Wimbledon, they often think of tennis, and this area is indeed home to the famous tennis tournament each summer. Wimbledon, however, is much more and the area has a superb assortment of shops, bars and restaurants to build its own personality.

As one of the more expensive areas in London, particularly the upmarket Wimbledon village, it prides itself on being a great place to live, with many designer brands holding a presence here. For business, Wimbledon offers lots of employment opportunities, making this a part of south London that many never veer far from.

Of course, for those travelling into central London, the transport links are well covered, with underground and mainline rail both being represented.

Fulham

To the west of central London, and just north of the river Thames, Fulham is seen by many as a great place to live and commute into the central area, however, Fulham itself offers many of the benefits of central London. There’s 24 hour bars, and restaurants, luxury flats and offices all giving Fulham a very vibrant and chic vibe. The population is diverse, with people of all nationalities living here, although there’s a very significant population from the antipodean countries, in particular Australia.

Source: Flickr | imagesofgb4u

With a large football stadium in the area, and the river Thames being so close, it’s a great place to get out and explore. Just over the river lies the borough of Putney with a similar feel to Fulham as well as a large shopping mall just south of Putney Bridge, which joins the two areas.

Clapham

Clapham feels larger than life, and whilst a mostly residential population, it is dominated by Clapham Common. This huge park offers a great opportunity for running, walking and cycling with dedicated areas offered to each. The park also hosts the annual music festival, SW4, named after the area’s predominant postcode.

The annual event attracts around 50,000 people each August and has become world famous. Clapham High Street has a wealth of shops, restaurants and bars, all busy and all good fun. This part of London has quite a transient population with many students and expats calling it home, at least for a few years that is.

East London

Bethnal Green

Considered a small town in east London, Bethnal Green is extremely well located for central London and also the city of London, justifying its mixed population from all walks of life. The area itself is seen as a bit more rough and ready than some of the west London towns, but this just adds to the excitement of living here. The area covers lots of bases, with open spaces, shopping centers and lively streets.

Source: Flickr | Ewan Munro

One of the most famous streets at the northern end of the town is Brick Lane. Brick Lane has a street market, selling all sorts of cultural arts as well as over 100 Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants; known locally as ‘curry houses’, these give the whole street a magnificent aroma of herbs and spices that act as an olfactory advertisement for food here. This is east London living at its best!

Docklands

The docklands form an area spanning several London boroughs and are located to the southeast of central London and just to the east of the City of London, one of the world’s most powerful financial centers. This is an area dominated by big skylines and money, many of the staff at the city's financial and insurance institutions live here, and largely this is reflected in the quality of living. There are lots of expensive wine bars, exclusive restaurants and gorgeous apartment blocks overlooking the river Thames and the city of London.

Source: Flickr | Jack Torcello

The area is dominated by the huge buildings of Canary Wharf, which occupy much of the landscape. These skyscrapers are home to many major banks and professional services, offering lots of employment opportunities for those skills in these sectors. The docklands are one of London’s most stylish and modern areas with global talent being attracted by the quality of city living here.

West London

Shepherd’s Bush

Shepherd’s Bush has a lot going for it as a area to live in, with the headquarters of the BBC being close by, a huge shopping center, and easy access to central London, this is an area worth taking a close look at. Traditionally more of a working class area, lower property prices in Shepherd’s Bush attract an incredible mix of people from all over the world with restaurants popping up all along the main street offering delicious cuisine to anyone brave enough to taste!

The huge and modern shopping center, Westfields, is a very popular destination and holds hundreds of shops, making this area an absolute shoppers paradise. Living in ‘the Bush’ itself is lively, with a huge variety of cultures and nationalities being present, particularly recent antipodean and western European migrant workers integrating with the already established south Asian population. Be it cricket, rugby or football, Shepherd’s Bush is not a quiet place during any sports tournament and that’s reflective of this area, competitive!

Knightsbridge

Entertaining several of London’s most prestigious postcodes, shops and residents, Knightsbridge prides itself on exclusivity. This is an expensive area to live in, for anyone wanting space, and apartments here go for an absolute premium. Located just on the southern edge of Hyde Park, this area is a mecca for upmarket shopping with almost every luxury brand being present, as well as the world famous department store, Harrods.

Shopping and Knightsbridge go hand in hand and people come from all over the world to visit the shops and boutiques here, particularly those from the Arabian Peninsula. This area is ornate and lavish, really showing off London as an international retail center, however, the many side streets away from the main shopping district do offer great opportunities for sensible living. Knightsbridge is also easy to get to, with bus, train and underground services all serving the area well.